"Let us consider a situation in which some keen and highly inventive men devise a remarkable system of communication", he said. "What they have is a kind of passionate ingenuity, in large amounts. What they don't have is money. They are not used to money. So they meet some... people, who introduce them to other people, friendly people, who for, oh, a forty-percent stake in the enterprise give them the much-needed cash and, very important, much fatherly advice and an introduction to a really good firm of accountants. And so they proceed, and soon money is coming in and money is going out, but somehow, they learn, they're not quite as financially stable as they think, and really do need more money. Well, this is all fine, because it's clear to all that the basic enterprise is goinig to be a money tree one day, and does it matter if they sign over another fifteen percent? It's just money. It's not important in the way that shutter mechanisms are, is it? And then they find out that yes, it is. It is everything. Suddenly, the world's turned upside down, suddenly those nice people aren't so friendly anymore, suddenly it turns out that those bits of paper they signed in a hurry - were advised to sign by people who smiled all the time - mean that they don't actually own anything at all, not patents, not property, nothing. Not even the contents of their own heads, indeed. Even any ideas they have now don't belong to them, apparently. And somehow they're still in trouble about money. Well, some run and some hide and some try to fight, which is foolish in the extreme, because it turns out that everything is legal, it really is. Some accept low-level jobs in the enterprise, because one has to live and in any case the enterprise evens owns their dreams at night. And yet actual illegality, it would appear, has not taken place. Business is business."
The passage is quoted under the right granted by HarperCollins Publishers for brief quotations in reviews. Italics in the original.
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